We live in a culture that likes to accomplish and arrive at our destination as quick as possible. We speed up everything we can in order to save time and so we don’t have to go through the struggle of the journey – we have microwaves for those who don’t want to spend the extra minutes on the stove top, we have drive-thrus that are faster yet; we use planes rather than cars for long distant travel; Amazon is far easier than a bookstore; movies instead of books; the list is endless.
But we often take this same mentality into the realm of Bible study. We rush to get to our destination: the conclusion or application. While this may not sound like a bad deal, for we all want to get to the application, we miss an important aspect of the process – the journey itself.
In one of my favorite movies, Pixar’s Cars, the main character Lightening McQueen finds himself in a dusty town off the far beaten path. He ends up going for a drive with the beautiful car in town and they arrive at the top of a mountain ridge. As he looks out over the valley McQueen notices the difference between the busy interstate and the lonely Route 66. Watch the scene:
Sally (the beautiful car) explains to McQueen that once the interstate was built, people quit driving on Route 66. What use to be an enjoyment of the journey became a mad dash to get to the final destination as quick as possible. And we do the same in Bible study.
Previously we have talked about the purpose of Bible study – that we come to the Word of God to get to know Jesus. He is the purpose. The reason I want to dive within the pages of Scripture is because I want to know Him more intimately. As we get into the Word and go through the three questions to ask every time I study a passage, it is often tempting to blaze through the study as quick as possible to arrive at our application point.
But think this through: if Jesus is the purpose of Bible study, He is not only the final destination but we find Him all throughout the process and journey of Bible study. There is enjoyment and intimacy in the journey itself, because even that is filled with Jesus. Just as people use to drive Route 66 for the mere fun of it, stopping and seeing sights along the way as part of the journey to their destination, so we too can find tremendous joy and intimacy with Christ in the midst of the Bible study journey.
Consider romance. The destination of dating is marriage. And while there may be some who rush through dating to arrive at the destination, relationship and intimacy is suppose to develop and mature within the dating process. You don’t throw off the dating or courtship process because you want to have the marriage, rather, you move toward marriage while enjoying the journey of dating, getting to know the individual along the route.
What is the rush in Bible study? Why do we blaze through our studies in order to arrive at a destination to quickly blaze through another study? Why not slow down a little and enjoy the journey? Sure, the destination is Jesus, but the entire process leads you into greater intimacy with Jesus as well. If it takes you an extra week to finish a study, or even an extra month, unless you are preaching or teaching every week, where is the pressure to hurry coming from?
I encourage you to take your time, don’t rush, enjoy the journey, and dive into the richness of intimacy with Jesus along the way.